Even the most confident among us grapple with moments of self-doubt, uncertainty and insecurity every once in a while. And that’s perfectly normal. Without it, we risk becoming complacent and lax. However, being excessively insecure in relationships can create toxic dynamics.
If left unchecked, the dangerous cycle of insecurities can drive a wedge between partners. Don’t ignore those early signs of insecurities in a relationship. These may seem harmless, adorable even, in the beginning. However, the more you ignore it, the deeper it sinks its teeth into your bond.
Over time, the jealousy, bickering and blame-game set into motion by one or both partners feeling insecure in a relationship takes a toll over the love, affection, and trust you share. When that happens, you can be certain that the relationship will come undone. Sooner or later. So, how do you get over insecurities in a relationship?
If you recognize the signs that you feel insecure in a relationship, you need to learn how to overcome this stumbling block to your happiness. Without it, you cannot hope to build and sustain fulfilling, long-term relationships, which only feeds into your insecurity. To help you break free from this vicious cycle, we spoke to psychologist Juhi Pandey Mishra about ways to stop feeling insecure in relationships.
What Causes Insecurity In A Relationship?
Why do some people tend to be more insecure in relationships than others? What causes them to express insecurity in a relationship with far greater intensity and recurrence? The simple answer is that we’re all a sum of our life experiences. We inevitably bring our own emotional baggage to relationships.
Maybe somewhere along the way, you realize your own insecurity and start thinking, ‘How do I stop being jealous and insecure?’ This acknowledgement is great first step to deal with feelings of insecurity, but there’s more to understand.
Traumatizing, self-deprecating experiences of the past – either in relationships or during one’s childhood – can become underlying triggers for insecurities. If you feel that your current relationship is unable to reach its full potential on account of insecure behavior, understanding the causes behind this tendency is the first step toward correcting course. The causes of insecurity in a relationship can be broadly categorized as:
1. Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem, coupled with a lack of self-confidence, is arguably one of the key reasons why people feel insecure in relationships. If you’ve grown up with an unshakable feeling that you’re not good enough, chances are that you will find it hard to believe that someone can love you for who you are. In your mind, you’re not good enough for to be a valuable partner.
That’s why your start projecting insecurities in relationships. The reasons for low self-esteem, according to Juhi, can vary from being bullied in school to being raised by toxic parents who constantly told you were not good enough or being in a relationship with a gaslighting partner. All of could make it that much harder to get over insecurities in a relationship.
Whatever the underlying reason, low self-esteem always manifests in the form of an insecure personality. That reflects in the way you conduct your relationships.
Related Reading: 12 Signs Of Insecure Women And How To Avoid Them
2. Traumatic experiences
The emotional baggage you carry from your past experiences also becomes a root cause for feelings of anxiety and insecurity in relationships. Perhaps, a former partner cheated on you or constantly lied to you. Or you were caught in a toxic relationship. Maybe, you were dating a commitment-phobe who kept stringing you along for a long time. All of this has left you anxious and unsure, grappling with various types of insecurities and asking, ‘how do I stop being jealous and insecure?’
“You may have chosen to walk away from these unpleasant relationships,” explains Juhi. “But the emotional distress or mental trauma you lived through while these relationships lasted become internalized to some extent. In turn, these make you in insecure in relationships.”
3. Childhood experiences
Our childhood experiences are the foundation of our adult personalities. That’s why the way you were raised by your family can be one of the major relationship insecurity triggers. A person’s attachment style is governed by their interactions with their parents and immediate family members.
Emotional neglect or lack of affection from parents or primary caregivers can lead to development of insecure attachment styles. Unmet emotional needs can cause you to become needy and clingy in relationships.
When your partner seeks distance and space in such a situation, insecurities begin to take hold.
4. Lack of personal fulfilment
A lack of personal fulfilment can lead to feelings of inadequacy, which can become a key cause for insecurities. For instance, if you are struggling to make peace with the fact that you haven’t been able to fulfill certain personal or professional goals, you may start viewing it as a sign of failure or incompetence. This can lead to emotional insecurity, leaving you fragile.
This can start weighing on your mind, especially if you start comparing your life journey with that of others, denting your self-confidence. And a cycle of insecurities is set into motion.
5. Past heartbreaks
You may have entered a relationship in the past thinking that you’ve found your ‘soulmate’ with and started imagining a life with them. However, things did not pan out as expected and you had to part ways. Worse still, that partner chose to end the relationship, breaking your heart into a million pieces.
Naturally, such a setback can cause anyone to develop trust issues and struggle with overcoming self doubt. A lack of trust is one of the key causes of unhealthy jealousy and insecurities in relationships.
6 Ways To Stop Feeling Insecure In Relationships
There are various types of insecurities – emotional, financial, psychological etc. Emotional insecurity is often at the forefront when it comes to relationships and overcoming self doubt is the best way to tackle it. However, this takes time and effort. You may even need therapy for insecurity in relationships.
Being insecure in relationships can make even the most stable, reasonable person act out of character. The tendencies to lash out, level accusations, and generally, create a melodramatic atmosphere – you know how it goes, if you’re insecure in a relationship – can cost you dearly.
You risk pushing away the one you love so dearly and end up with a broken heart. This can further add to your relationship insecurity triggers. To help deal with Here are six time-tested tips Juhi swears by:
1. Focus on the present
“The first thing a person needs to do to overcome insecurity and jealousy is to stop imagining what doesn’t exist. Negative imagination can lead to unnecessary worrying or panic about perceived problems you may face in the future,” Juhi says. In essence, you’re losing your today over concerns about what tomorrow may bring. The worst-case scenarios that you keep playing in your head may or may not come to pass.
Even if they do, there is nothing you can do to control it. That’s why Juhi suggests, “Shift the focus from outward to inward. From the future to the present. Instead of worrying about the unseen future, focus on living in the present. This can help your deal with anxiety and insecurity in relationships to a great extent.”
2. Build your self-esteem
As we said before, low self-esteem is arguably the biggest most potent trigger for insecurities in relationship. So, in order to learn how not to express insecurity in a relationship, you need to build on your self-esteem. However, it’s easier said that done.
When you feel insecure, you start doubting yourself, asking, ‘do I have trust issues?’ and ‘how can I have a happy relationship?’ You may even feel as though you don’t deserve a relationship.
Poor self-esteem is like to gangrene your emotional health. Once it takes root, it’s near impossible to get rid of. It grows from strength to strength, eating your emotional stability from within. So, building your self-esteem may be an arduous goal. But it’s not an impossible one.
To stop projecting insecurities in relationships, you need to invest in self-care. Start small with changes like starting to exercise regularly or pursuing an activity that you enjoy and slowly build up to work on your emotional strength.
“Lifestyle changes such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, exercise, good sleep and a good diet can help a person dealing with insecurities,” Juhi says. The key is to lose one negative habit and replace it with a positive one.
Related Reading: How To Love Yourself – 21 Self Love Tips
3. Prioritize good over bad
According to Juhi, shifting your attention from the bad to the good is a simple yet effective way to stop being insecure in relationship. “Try thinking about all the good moments, loving gestures and great memories you have with your significant other when feelings of anxiety and insecurity in relationships begin to trouble your mind. Changing your thought process can help put the worrying thoughts at bay,” she adds.
Say your partner hasn’t called all day or not replied to your texts. It is filling you up with insecure thoughts about what it means. Are they falling out of love? Could they be cheating on you? Have you done something to alienate them? If you let these thoughts consume you, it’s a guarantee that you will lash out whenever you talk next. Ask yourself ‘do I have trust issues’, and understand where they might come from.
So, take your mind off the negativity by thinking about a lovely weekend that you spent in your SO’s arms or the last romantic dinner date they took you out on.
Juhi says trust is one of the most effective tools to overcome insecurity and jealousy in relationships. So, working on building trust is a non-negotiable part of the process. This can be hard if you suffer from trust issues or your insecurities stem from a former partner’s betrayal.
First of all, understand that trust in a relationship is a lot more than just not keeping secrets from another. It also means believing every word you hear from your partner, without ever feeling the need to cross-check or verify.
You and your partner can build trust in your relationship by always keeping your words, not resorting to lies – even the white, harmless ones – and being physically as well as emotionally available to each other. When you feel insecure, an open and honest conversation could be your way forward.
Related Reading: Trust Issues – 10 Signs You Find It Difficult To Trust Anyone
5. Clear communication
Juhi says that the need for clear communication cannot be emphasized enough for any couple trying to weed out insecurities from their relationship. Instead of hiding the way you feel or bottling up your feelings, learn to express insecurity in a relationship in a healthy way. If ‘how can I have a happy relationship’ is a question often on your mind, reach out to your partner with kindness and clarity.
If you’re feeling consumed by negative thoughts, reach out to your partner and tell them how certain actions of theirs have made you feel. But do so, without levelling accusations or placing blame. Try to understand the role of your psyche in making you feel the way you do, and then, tell them how certain events or actions have left you feeling anxious, jealous, or insecure.
When they respond, hear them out. And together, find a way to resolve the situation.
6. Seek counselling
And lastly, Juhi says, “If the reason of insecurity is not at the consciousness level but has connection with a traumatic childhood or past life experiences, a person must seek some professional help from a counsellor or a psychologist.
“In such cases, the healing needs to be done at a deeper level. Medications, counselling, therapeutic treatments or a mix of these may be required, depending on person’s specific conditions.”
Therapy for insecurity in relationships is a great way to get a professional to help you deal with feelings of insecurity. If you haven’t been able to make much progress in your attempts to overcome insecurity and jealousy, know that our panel of licensed therapists is only a click away.
Overcoming the tendency to be insecure in relationships is not easy. It’s something you have to work on consciously and continuously, perhaps for years on end. But when you do learn to rein in those irrational insecurities, your mind and relationships become much more peaceful. That’s why it’s worth the effort.
Low self-esteem, traumatic childhood experiences, poor relationship experience and lack of personal fulfillment are some of the common reasons why people tend to be insecure in relationships. You need to look within to understand what your triggers are.
Yes, but it is not possible to build happy and lasting relationship without learning to how to stop being insecure in relationships.
Healthy jealousy can be a sign of love. However, when this emotion begins to spiral out of control, it’s a sign that the underlying trigger is insecurity.
You can start by working on your self-esteem and building trust in the relationship. Trying to live in the present, inculcating strong communication and practicing self-care are also crucial to overcome insecurity and jealousy.
You need to identify your relationship insecurity triggers, and then, mindfully eliminate them to fix insecurity. However, this is a complex process. Working with a licensed therapist or counsellor are greatly improve your chances of success.